Of fear, urgency, idealism and denial

Well, it's another post on immigration - that dreadful topic that is consuming the country with incessant fear, for that's what I've been told. When I questioned this fear and the utter hatred for migrants I was told to shut up; that I was naive and that I had no idea how much people are scared. I was also told that I wouldn't dare go to Marsa at night. Moreover, when I said that I do not believe in that patriotic slogan"Malta l-ewwel u qabel kollox" (because Malta can never come before the basic rights and dignity of human beings the world-over) I was branded an idealist and a dreamer. I was told people are alarmed, frightened out of their senses and that we must tackle the problem head on rather then let it dangle in vacuum. I was told that I am living in a state of isolation and denial.

Well guess what. I do not deny a single charge. I do not deny that people are consumed with fear. I do not deny that this is an urgent national matter. I do not deny that I am an idealist. I do not deny that I am cut off from the pulse of the people.

1. Fear

The extent of the fear is so deep that it has led ultra-nationalist organizations like CNI to claim that we must "send them back without exception" and AN suggesting that we must immediately suspend our international obligations under the Geneva and Dublin II conventions. The Maltese people must be brave in face of this great invasion and fight for freedom and sovreignty like our fore-fathers did they say. The UN and EU dictators must not be allowed passage to detention centers and they have no right to tell us what to do. They should just shut the hell up and take the migrants themselves if they are so concerned. We don't want them here. I am to understand that the political ramifications and international sanctions incurred as a consequence are simply something that we should have to endure.

2. Urgency

Malta is a tiny country - roughly 4 times smaller than New York city just to give an idea. I don't know if my math is correct but lets assume, for the sake of argument, that 1 migrant in Malta is equivalent to approximately 1000 in Germany. Clearly Malta cannot handle the influx alone and it needs assistance. This I neither deny and I have said it many times over. It is for this reason that this is a national urgent matter, perhaps justifying the use of the word 'crisis'. In fact Muscat from the Labour Party harped upon its importance in parliament. He is correct to do so but I just hope he knows what he is doing. I hope that he has not fallen victim to the national socialist sentiment of his predecessors writing in l-orizzont and betrays the progressive social democrat ideals he is fighting for in the process. That would lead to a crisis of my own. But a strategy and set of proposals on the matter is yet to be drawn up by the LP and one must wait and see with what they come up with before rushing to any conclusions.

3. Idealism

Yes I am an idealist and I have no shame either. If the belief that all men and women of this earth are born free and equal is tantamount to fantasy and idealism than I am that. If the belief that persons have a human right to flee a nation in which they will be persecuted owing to reasons of race, nationality, religion, political opinion is idealism then I am an idealist. Moreover , if the belief that a person although found guilty of entering a country illegaly should still be treated with dignity and detained in humane conditions is idealism then I am an idealist. Guilty as charged.

4. Denial

I was never a socialite. I'm not a church-goer, I don't really attend meetings, go to pubs for a beer or have chats with the locals at the party or band club. In this regard I must admit that I am rather unaware of the 'word on the street'. For this reason it may be said that I am in denial and not much more than an armchair critic. My looking glass is the news and the respective comments, opinions and letters held therein and I don't like what I see and read most of the time especially on this matter. In any case I don't care if I am alone in my isolated idealistic views. I believe that one day they will be vindicated.

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